Definition of Walter Mitty in English:

Walter Mitty

noun

  • [often as modifier] A person who fantasizes about a life much more exciting and glamorous than their own:

    ‘my client is very much a Walter Mitty character’
    • ‘Any idea that he was a Walter Mitty character has crumbled.’
    • ‘She also vented her anger over Downing Street spokesman Tom Brown's description of his resembling a Walter Mitty character.’
    • ‘During his court appearance White's mother described her son as a Walter Mitty character, who created plans in his own mind which had no chance of coming to fruition and which bore no resemblance to reality.’
    • ‘Another witness, Neil Smithson, described Barry Trumen as a Walter Mitty character.’
    • ‘John Brown is an out-and-out liar for all the reasons that I see printed in comments before mine, which came to mind as I read this Walter Mitty fantasy.’
    • ‘Off the record, that guy probably was a bit of a Walter Mitty / Billy Liar type character.’
    • ‘Though Grant's writing could be incisive and even belligerent, in manner he was more of a Walter Mitty.’
    • ‘None of this Walter Mitty posturing especially surprised Schwarzkopf, who points out that he'd already known Cheney as ‘one of the fiercest cold warriors in Congress.’’
    • ‘‘Paul was a bit of a Walter Mitty character,’ said Mr Barnes in his statement.’
    • ‘The lovely Jef writes that my blog ‘has a Walter Mitty quality.’’
    • ‘Mr Kosword QC for Peter Jones compared these to the day dreams of a Walter Mitty.’
    • ‘This is not the raising of scenarios by a Walter Mitty amateur detective helping the police.’
    • ‘Yet in the report they called him a Walter Mitty character and ignored his intelligence.’
    • ‘McLean, United's former manager and chairman, had previously declared he would never sell his 42% stake to a man he dubbed a Walter Mitty character.’
    • ‘Jailing him Judge Charles Wade said: ‘The expression ‘a Walter Mitty lifestyle’ has not been mentioned in this but it seems a reasonable thing for me to say.’’
    • ‘Was he a good man or was he a Walter Mitty fantasist?’
    • ‘‘He was a bit of a Walter Mitty character,’ said Det Insp Clay.’
    • ‘Many may of course just dismiss Mike as yet another farang who has come here to retire, and reinvent himself, like a Walter Mitty, as the character of his fanciful dreams.’
    • ‘Did this man whose entire life has been spent as an office worker in dull and colorless businesses in rural Pennsylvania just suddenly have a Walter Mitty fantasy that happened to come true?’
    • ‘The piece of the plan that is reminiscent of a Walter Mitty escapade relates to the proposal to recruit 200 business bankers in Britain within three years.’
    utopian, visionary, wishful thinker, pipe-dreamer, fantasist, fantasizer, romantic, romanticist, romancer, castle-builder, walter mitty, don quixote, dreamer, daydreamer, impractical person, unrealistic person
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Origin

The hero of the story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (by James Thurber, 1939), who indulged in extravagant daydreams of his own triumphs.

Pronunciation

Walter Mitty

/wɔːltə ˈmɪti/